Beloved brothers and sisters in Christ,

I greet you in the love of Christ our Lord and Savior, desiring for you many blessings in your homes and ministries. I am writing to inform you of some of the things that have happened in the month of October. It was a month of great blessing for us, both as a family and as a church. We were accepted into the program that will pay for us to build the new little building beside our church and we have begun construction. Thanks be to God, we are all well in our health, but the heat and mosquitoes are nearly unbearable right now. As a family, we are reading the Bible and talking about it after our afternoon meal, and the boys tell us about the things that are going on in their schools. These times are very special for our family.

On October 2 I traveled to the town San Juan de Shitari. The three brothers that were going to teach and preach in the anniversary of the church were not able to show up. One of the men, Miqueas, was going to preach but his wife became ill at the last minute, and pastors Mariano and Miguel could not get past the strike that is going on in Yurimaguas. Well, the two pastors of the church told me by phone that I would have to teach and preach. The night of October 1, I hardly slept because I had to organize and prepare the messages. On the way there, there was a delay for 45 minutes in the truck that I was riding in, and there was no cell phone coverage to let the brothers in Nuevo Tarapoto and San Ramon know to wait for me before they headed to San Juan de Shitari. When the 4×4 all terrain pickup truck dropped me off, I was finally able to call Serafín, the pastor of the church, and he waited for me on the ridge of the mountain. I walked two hours under the intense sun and with the weight of the things I was carrying. Really, if my call had not gone through I would have had to walk 5 hours to the town and I would not have been able to arrive. The trail was very muddy.

That night I preached on Matthew 7:13-27 and many people attended. There were people inside and outside, and the church was completely full. On October 3 we had a Bible class all day. When the pastor found out that the other teachers were not going to make it, he asked me if I could teach the course. Thanks to the Lord, I already had material prepared on the topic that I taught. In the evening the pastor asked if I could teach on baptism, since there were six people who were going to be baptized. I shared with them some texts about baptism. That night I preached on Romans 1:18-32, and also on chapters 2 and 3. The building was full again that evening and many people listened from outside because there was no room inside.

The next morning began with torrential downpours, and when it stopped for just a moment we decided to go to the river to do the baptisms. However, when we got to the river the torrential rain began again and they gave me an umbrella so that I could read the Bible, from Matthew 28:19-20. We then proceeded to do the baptisms and it was so exciting to see the brothers trembling and weeping for joy as five women and one man were baptized. When we planned to make the trip home we were unable to because of the rain. After lunch we began the trip and it was calamitous because the road was very bad. The brothers had to work hard when the car kept getting stuck in the mud and bogged down. We arrived at one of the towns at 5:00’pm worn out and hungry. Finally, we came to the town of Bellavista and the brothers dropped me off there. From Bellavista I took a motorcycle taxi to my house. The following day I could not get up from my bed because my body was so worn out. For more than 8 days my body hurt from the trip, but it was an unforgettable experience. The brothers and sisters were very encouraged and thankful, and I was personally so edified that I would not think twice before going through it all over again.

Luke began working for HeartCry in 2012 after graduating from Virginia Tech. He was raised in Harrisonburg, Virginia and now resides a few hours south in Radford, Virginia with his wife Meghan and their three children. He is the coordinator for the work that HeartCry is involved in throughout Latin America.

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